Top Cristiano Ronaldo Recovery Methods: How to Recover Like a Pro
Cristiano Ronaldo’s recovery regimen is crucial to what separates him from the pack as one of the world’s greatest athletes.
In the highest levels of professional competition, every athlete is incredibly gifted. To become a part of the 1% of the best 1% of athletes in any sport requires both discipline and the willingness to do things your competitors aren’t.
For Ronaldo, this means ensuring his body is in peak condition every day, every training session, and every match by going above and beyond in his recovery regimen.
This article covers everything you need to know about how Cristiano Ronaldo approaches recovery, the tools he uses to get there, and how you can improve your own recovery regimen too.
- Cristiano Ronaldo’s Mentality on Recovery
- Workout Recovery Tools Cristiano Ronaldo Uses
- Other Ways Cristiano Ronaldo Recovers After Workouts and Matches
- How to Approach Your Workout Recovery Like Cristiano Ronaldo
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Cristiano Ronaldo’s Mentality on Recovery
If you asked a professional athlete what the most crucial aspect of their athletic performance is, you might expect to get answers about highly technical drills or strength and endurance training.
But for one of the best soccer players of all time, Christiano Ronaldo looks at the big picture and attributes a less-talked-about element of his athletic performance to his daily success: Recovery.
“Recovery is more important to me than actual training sessions due to the large number of games I have to play. Winding down and resting is a key part of my day-to-day routine and enables me to perform to the highest level in my profession and prolong my career.”– Cristiano Ronaldo
Because the secret Ronaldo knows is: If you’re not fully recovered, you can’t train at your best, and you won’t compete at your best. And if you can measure the difference between you and your competitors in sometimes single-digit percentages, you need to ensure you’re at 100% at all times.
How well you recover between training competition is the one critical component that dictates what your maximum effort can be.
Importance of Recovery After Exercise for Athletes of All Levels
You don’t need to be a professional athlete to reap the rewards of powerful workout recovery habits.
Whether you’re training to stay healthy, reach new personal records, or advance your career as an athlete to one day become a professional, how well you recover is what creates progress from day to day.
How your workout recovery does this is two-fold:
First, the time you spend outside of training is when your body repairs itself to become stronger. In order to do this, your body needs the proper nutrients, hormonal and chemical signals, and the right amount of time to get the job done.
Second, your body takes a beating during training. Without adequate recovery, your performance takes a hit, you lose range of motion, and you pay the price in your next training session – or worse, in your next competition.
Even if you’re practicing technical drills rather than training to get faster or stronger, a stiff and sore body diminishes how well you perform each movement. If you’re working to improve your dribbling and your body is performing at 80%, that means you’ve left 20% of your progress just out of reach.
While 20% may not seem like a staggering number, if you add that number up over years of training, it creates a massive gap between your current progress and what your actual potential could be.
Luckily, there are many ways you can accelerate how well your body recovers. And we’ll look to Cristiano Ronaldo’s own personal recovery methods to help take your athletic potential to the next level.
Workout Recovery Tools Cristiano Ronaldo Uses
Even though the interview with Ronaldo to discuss his recovery rituals was back in 2013, he has proven to put his words into practice and his mentality on workout recovery has only become more robust ever since.
If you follow him on any social media platform, you’ll quickly realize how recovery holds a top spot in his daily routine. Even tracking his endorsements and partnerships over the years shows an intense interest in the success of companies and products that help athletes recover and perform at their best.
So let’s dive into some of the most prominent recovery tools and protocols Cristiano Ronaldo uses to maximize his athletic performance and keep him continually in peak physical condition.
Cristiano Ronaldo isn’t one to shy away from the discomforts of cold therapy. And the fact that he spent tens of thousands of dollars to have his own personal cryotherapy chamber shipped to his rented mansion in Italy tells you everything you need to know about how seriously he takes cryotherapy for recovery.
Cold exposure treatment from cryotherapy provides a cascade of physical, mental, and hormonal benefits that aid in recovery. For athletes, that means reduced exercise-induced inflammation, improved muscle recovery, enhanced cognitive function, pain reduction, and increased mitochondrial biogenesis.
While cryotherapy shares many of the same benefits as ice baths (both being different methods of cold exposure therapy), cryotherapy reduces the duration of time needed for your body to trigger some of its natural physiological responses.
If being able to perform from training session to training session is your ultimate goal, cold therapy is a go-to modality for reducing inflammation and accelerating muscle damage recovery.
Technique can make or break your workout. And when it comes to perfecting your form and consistency through repetition for sport – ensuring your body is recovered to operate in peak condition through an uninhibited range of motion is the key to maximizing progress.
Theragun Massage Therapy
Cristiano Ronaldo has long been a believer in percussion therapy to maximize performance and accelerate workout recovery.
The massage gun he trusts to power his own recovery is the Theragun PRO. He’s even gone to the lengths of partnering with Therabody as a brand ambassador to promote how important he believes the Theragun is for his workout recovery.
In an interview with Therabody, he expands on his mentality for recovery:
“In soccer, we are always told to eat well and train well to have a longer professional career, but to me, recovery is a key ingredient. To be the best, you need the best in recovery. That’s why I choose Theragun.”– Cristiano Ronaldo
The percussive therapy provided by the Theragun has a long list of benefits for athletes. From improving blood and lymph circulation, relieving muscle stiffness, providing powerful myofascial release, to improving range of motion and reducing muscle soreness – it’s not a surprise that his Theragun is a go-to tool in his arsenal of recovery tools.
As a professional athlete, the foundation of your athletic performance and recovery all stem from your nutrition. You need to get the right nutrients at the right time, but it also needs to be convenient enough to make consistency simple and effortless.
Because unlike how it is for most of us, where slipping up on your nutrition plan means gaining a few pounds or delaying your fitness goals, for professional athletes, your job and your success depend on your nutrition discipline.
The partner that Cristiano Ronaldo has trusted for years to maximize his supplementation and nutrition program is Herbalife.
Herbalife’s performance nutrition, especially the Herbalife24 product line, is designed to power athletes during all phases of the day. Whether before, during, or after training, Herbalife24 nutrition supports and fuels your performance and recovery for athletes of all levels.
But most importantly, every product in the Herbalife24 lineup is designed and tested to ensure compliance with all professional and amateur sports regulatory bodies. Which ensures they are free of a long and complex list of banned substances for competing athletes.
Cristiano Ronaldo isn’t just a marketing face for the company. He is responsible for co-creating the Herbalife CR7 Drive sports supplement to fill all the strict requirements he’s looking for in a sports drink.
CR7 Drive focuses on three areas of performance and recovery:
- Enhanced hydration with 320mg of vital electrolytes.
- Brain and muscle fueling glucose with an easy-to-digest carbohydrate blend for energy.
- Vitamin B12 to support energy metabolism.
But most importantly, it doesn’t contain any artificial flavors or sweeteners and is NSF tested and certified for sports.
Power Plate Vibration Therapy
If you follow Ronaldo on any of his social media platforms, you’re likely to have come across a unique vibrating platform in the corner of the gym.
You can even come across family man Cristiano Ronaldo using the Power Plate with his kids, sharing the importance of workout recovery early to help them on their own athletic journies.
Power Plate creates vibrating platforms that provide whole-body vibration therapy to accelerate workout recovery and enhance athletic performance.
The benefits of vibration therapy are an exciting field of study first explored by NASA to help astronauts recover and maintain their bodies from the adverse effects of being in space.
From improving muscle strength, increasing bone density, enhancing oxygen delivery, to even increasing natural testosterone and growth hormone, vibration plates have just as much to offer athletes as they do astronauts.
Even if you don’t have the space for another piece of large equipment in your home gym, the Power Plate MOVE is a full-body vibration powerhouse that still gives you all the benefits of vibration therapy in a more convenient package.
Inversion Table Spinal Decompression
While professional athletes appear to have superhuman abilities and seemingly indestructible anatomies, sports put a ton of stress and impact on your body.
Even a sport as simple as running takes its toll. Runners, on average, experience a temporary loss of 1mm of disc height per disk on their back after just one hour of running.
Since running is a staple foundation of most sports, spinal compression can become a real issue. And one of the best recovery methods to combat spinal compression is spinal decompression.
Inversion tables like the one Cristiano Ronaldo is demonstrating on his Instagram account helps to decompress the back by easing the pressure of gravity on your nerves and disks around your spine.
Just like running temporarily decreases the height per disc on your back, inversion tables counter this by temporarily creating more space between your vertebrae that get compressed together.
Hot Tubs and Ice Baths
While heat therapy from hot tubs and cold exposure therapy from ice baths each have their own extensive list of benefits for recovery in athletes (many we outlined in the cryotherapy section in this article,) for this section, we’ll be discussing a lesser-known set of benefits provided by hot tubs and ice baths. Relaxing and fortifying the mind.
Ice baths typically have a longer session duration than cryotherapy. And in all honesty, it’s a less comfortable experience overall. But the discomfort is a feature of the process, not a bug.
Sitting in an icebath gives you the opportunity to fortify your mind, focusing on controlling your body and its sensations through periods of discomfort.
Discomfort often happens in physical sports, and there are moments when your mind tries to dial back the effort so you can feel more comfortable. But there are many situations where pushing through the discomfort or exhaustion is precisely what’s required to succeed. Focusing your mind during ice baths allows you to contend with that same little voice in your mind telling you to give up early and to go back to being comfortable.
Hot tubs are on the opposite end of the spectrum for mental focus. Sitting in a hot spa allows you to unwind, relax, and focus the mind on how to improve.
Relaxation is a crucial part of the recovery process. It helps facilitate the parasympathetic nervous systems’ rest-and-digest response, triggering the chemical and hormonal responses allowing your body to repair.
Other Ways Cristiano Ronaldo Recovers After Workouts and Matches
Cristiano Ronaldo places a significant emphasis on his sleep quality and hydration discipline. He’s known for driving straight home after matches to begin his recovery routine and ensure he can get a minimum of eight hours of sleep. He’s also infamous for his gesture of removing Coca-Cola bottles in a press conference while saying “drink water.” (With Coca-Cola’s stock dropping $4 Billion shortly after.)
But what do sleep and hydration have in common?
Lack of sleep and dehydration are both the “silent killers” of athletic performance. You typically don’t realize the adverse effects until it’s too late.
Combatting both of these areas of recovery requires consistency and discipline. It’s easy to stay up late a few nights to watch one more episode of your favorite show. And it’s easy to simply forget to drink enough water during the day (and perhaps drink a little too much coffee.)
Water is necessary for nearly every critical function in your body that helps you recover from workout to workout. And sleep is when most of the important stuff takes place. Improving your consistency and discipline in both creates an environment in your body primed to maximize every other aspect of your recovery.
How to Approach Your Workout Recovery Like Cristiano Ronaldo
While many of his teammates may go out to celebrate and have a few drinks after a victory, Ronaldo heads home to begin his recovery protocols and get ready for the next day of training and the next match.
Every professional athlete is already uncommonly talented. But to be uncommonly great among the already uncommon, you have to go the extra mile and do things no one else is willing to do.
Just like Michael Jordan or Drew Brees were known for perfecting their craft by continuing to practice by themselves after all their teammates had left after practice, Cristiano Ronaldo is also among the greats in his discipline to perfecting his sport by going the extra mile. Even if the additional hard work could only mean mere percentage points of an advantage over the competition. And it’s this mentality that creates champions.
Here’s the good news for all of us. This level of dedication is a skill, not a natural talent. And it’s something that each of us can apply to any aspect of our lives to become great at anything we set out to do.
Focusing on your workout recovery is one of the best training grounds for developing this skill set. It’s easy to put in the effort for one hour a day during practice. But to maintain that same level of discipline and effort for the other 23hrs of the day is what will truly skyrocket your progress towards your goals.